Arizona beats No. 17 USC 81-72, ends Trojans’ win streak

James Akinjo scored 20 points and Arizona was better on the boards, surprising No. 17 Southern California 81-72 and ending the Pac-12-leading Trojans’ seven-game winning streak

LOS ANGELES — James Akinjo scored 20 points and Arizona was better on the boards, surprising No. 17 Southern California 81-72 on Saturday and ending the Pac-12-leading Trojans’ seven-game winning streak.

Jordan Brown had 19 points and 13 rebounds. Azuolas Tubelis added 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Wildcats (15-8, 9-8 Pac-12), who gave coach Sean Miller his 300th victory in program history while avoiding their first three-game skid of the season.

The Wildcats controlled the boards, 43-36. They have been outrebounded just once this season. The Trojans haven’t won this season when they’ve gotten beat on the boards.

Evan Mobley scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half for the Trojans (18-4, 12-3), and Tahj Eaddy added 17 points before fouling out.

The Trojans played from behind most of the game, trailing by eight in the first half. Mobley scored 10 straight points to open the second half, pulling USC into a tie at 41-all. Eaddy tied it again at 44-all on a 3-pointer.

Brown scored four in a row, and the Wildcats hit three consecutive 3-pointers — one from Terrell Brown Jr. and two by Dalen Terry — to go up 57-49.

USC made just 4 of 8 free throws during a stretch in which Arizona’s 7-foot-1 Christian Koloko got called for a technical after he shoved Chevez Goodwin on the baseline. That drew the Trojans within five, but Arizona ran off seven in a row to lead 67-55.

The Wildcats made 14 of 16 free throws over the final 5 1/2 minutes, when they didn’t have a field goal.

The Wildcats led by eight in the first half, which ended with them ahead 37-31. Arizona had a 21-16 advantage on the boards, with Tubelis equaling his career high of 12 by the break.

BIG PICTURE

Arizona: The Wildcats have two home games remaining until their season ends next weekend because of a self-imposed postseason ban. The roster heavy with freshmen and sophomores, and two little-used seniors, has had few highlight moments during the pandemic-effected season.

USC: The Trojans lost for the first time in a month. They have five games remaining until the Pac-12 Tournament, including Utah and UCLA, teams they’ve already beaten.

UP NEXT

Arizona: Hosts Washington State on Thursday.

USC: Hosts Oregon on Monday.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP—Top25

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